Being a man of my word

A wise man; the Ultimate Warrior to be specific; once said: blah blah blah skeletons, blah blah blah, sacrifice.  Rooooarrrrrrrr snarrllllll

Chris Jericho said it best about the Ultimate Warrior: I don’t know what he said but it sounded cool yaaaayyyyy

Anyway, this isn’t a post about the Ultimate Warrior, Chris Jericho, or professional wrestling, for once.  Those were referenced just to zone in on a single concept, that’s kind of stuck with me, especially when it comes to trying to tempt fate and potentially get the things that I hope to get: sacrifice.

I have this belief that seldom do good things occur without some degree of sacrifice involved.  It’s basically like when kids behave and act good because they want something.  And when I’ve wanted things like, the Braves winning the World Series, I most definitely think that there should be some sacrifice made by all Braves fans, if they really wanted to see a World Series win.

A few weeks ago, I dogged on Dugout Mugs, and basically how I thought they were the most useless products on the planet.  And how in an era of pandemic, wealth inequity, teetering on the precipice of financial ruin everywhere, the absolute last fucking thing anyone needed was a cup made out of a baseball bat.

One of the last things I blathered about how was that I should probably make a sacrificial bet that if the Braves won the World Series that I should get a Dugout Mug, in spite of just how abhorrent I think they are, because if I really wanted to see the Braves win, I should make a sacrifice, after all.

I wasn’t at all writing all that, in an attempt to superstitiously manipulate fate, and put on a show.  Believe me, I have done it before, and naturally it doesn’t work, but my disdain for Dugout Mugs is very much legitimate.  They’re useless products, AND they have a ridiculously ludicrous $70 price point for a fucking hollowed out bat head.  The Braves winning the World Series would definitely cost me something, that I would never purchase in any other circumstance.

And despite the fact that I made this bet with myself, and probably zero people even read or knew about it, when the Braves finished the Astros, I went ahead and bit the bullet and purchased a fucking Dugout Mug.  Thankfully, there was some sort of promotional deal for early purchasers, and I was able to get my mug for not-$70, but it was still basically the cost of a brand new video game once taxes and shipping were applied.

I didn’t have to do it.  I could’ve denied everything and just said eating my words should be enough.  But when it comes to fates and superstition, I am that gullible, so I believe that it’s probably for the best that I remain a man of my word and fulfill the obligation I made for myself if the Braves were to win.  

Considering how long I’d been hoping to see this, $57 is a paltry price to pay, and even if I think this mug and all other Dugout Mugs are bullshit, at least everything will taste something like victory for a little while from it.  Even gross-ass IPAs.

Time to get a new Braves cap

I got this cap during the tail end of the 2008 season.  The Braves lost 90 games that year and they were not a very good team.  But, I was working for Cartoon Network then, and as a Turner network, one of the perks we got were these booklets of house money that was redeemable for tickets.  And then one day, a colleague told me that they didn’t work on just tickets, and could be used to purchase merchandise in Turner Field.  So I cobbled together what remaining vouchers I had left, and decided to get a new cap.

NewEra was still young at that time, as hard as it is to believe considering they’ve been the official baseball cap of just about everything forever now.  And my unknown-brand red and navy Braves cap was beat to death, so it seemed as good as any to get a new one if I didn’t have to pay anything out of pocket.

I went with the road navy, because I already had the aforementioned two-tone, and I just really dug the all-navy.  I loved the way it fit, and I was sold on NewEra caps, and it quickly became my default cap.  It’s so old, that it was before NewEra put their logos on the side of caps, and the only identifiers to the brand is all the 59Fifty markings on the inside of it.

Over the next 13 years, this cap has been to countless Braves games, MLB games, MiLB games, a World Baseball Classic game, and visited 14 of the 30 MLB ballparks.  It has been worn in 117F degree summer games, 49F spring games, and been rained on countless times, and had enough sunlight beaten into it to power a house if could absorb the solar energy.  It has never seen the Braves win on the road (except in Washington DC, where I’ve seen numerous Braves games against the Nationals). 

Now I could make up some story about how I vowed to never change this cap until the Braves won a World Series, but I’d be lying if I said that, but seeing as how the Braves have become world champions 13 years later, I think now would be as good time as any to explore retiring this cap, and getting a new one.  The color is faded and tired and the integrity of the fabric and brim is flimsy.  But mostly because this cap is a size 7 3/8 which fit perfectly back in 2008, but my head alarmingly is now a 7 1/2. 🙁

But in all likelihood, the new one will be another road navy, because it’s classic, subtle, but just the fucking best.  However, in true fashion to myself, who can get sentimental over the littlest shit, here is a fond farewell, to a baseball cap.

Finally, let’s talk about the World Series Champion Atlanta Braves

Firstly, baby luck is real, boys.  If you want to see your team win a championship, go have a kid.  I’ve seen it work for the Cubs.  I’ve seen it work with the Nationals.  Both those teams were laughing stocks not very long ago, and good friends of mine with their then-new children, got to witness the pinnacle of baseball fandom. 

Despite the fact that the Braves lost megastar Ronald Acuña, Jr. to a blown ACL, Mike Soroka blowing out his arm, and Marcell Ozuna getting suspended indefinitely for a domestic abuse incident and were sitting as low as fourth place in the division at one point, #2 was born, the Braves stopped sucking just enough to win a horrid division, and then got hot at the very right moment, and rode the momentum all the way to the top.

And now baby luck has worked for me, finally getting to witness a reality where the Atlanta Braves are World Series champions.  How can anyone not love baseball when an 88-win team that had no business making the playoffs ends up winning the whole thing?

Honestly, I never thought I’d see this in my life.  Between the Braves, Virginia Tech football, Korean national teams in, anything other than video games, I don’t have a lot of world championship potential, so y’all will have to excuse me if I’m still in a little bit of disbelief at the fact that the Braves are actually champions.

I wasn’t a Braves fan in 1995, when they won the World Series previously.  Growing up where I did, the team to root for was Cal Ripken, Jr. and the Baltimore Orioles, and the O’s got bounced by the same Cleveland Indians who went on to lose to the Braves in that World Series, but I make no claim to that championship.  So 2021’s World Series, really is for me, as it is for all Braves fans who have waited over 20 years for another championship.

Continue reading “Finally, let’s talk about the World Series Champion Atlanta Braves”

Fuck you, AJC

The only thing I wanted to commemorate the Braves’ World Series victory was a copy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution with some sort of front page cover of the Braves’ victory.  Unsurprising, so does just about every single fucking Braves fan in the Metro Atlanta area, or just people who want a slice of history.

But I guess it’s safe to say that misery loves company and that I am most definitely kept company, given the fact that the AJC printed a paltry 30,000 copies of a commemorative November 3rd edition.  Also unsurprising is that there are thousands of disappointed and upset fans who were unable to get one because there were only 30,000 copies of a fucking newspaper to a metropolitan area that has a population of nearly six million fucking people to which obviously not all of them are going to be Braves fans, but a whole fucking lot more than 30,000 are sure to be.

30,000 copies.  Only distributed at Krogers, Publixes, RaceTracs and QTs.  That probably means each location got like, 20 copies, to which they were obviously all sold out instantaneously by those who were lucky enough to be at the right fucking places at the right fucking time.  And me being handcuffed to a baby for 17 hours of every single day, I can’t even have the chance to even try to get one of these fucking surprisingly Jesus-rare newspaper editions.

Fuck you, AJC.  You’re not Nintendo withholding Switches.  You’re not Sony, artificially suppressing Piss5s.  You’re a fucking regional rag that somehow fucked up getting Willy Wonka’s golden ticket, by pulling this kind of bullshit stunt.  You could have printed 200,000 copies of this fucking paper, and they’d have almost all sold for $3 a pop, netting an absurd amount of revenue for a piece of shit publication that nobody would give two shits about on any other given day, but it just so happened to luck into the regional baseball lottery with the Braves winning a World Series.

Sure, they’re going to reprint a generous 70,000 more copies of it, but the cat is out of the bag now, and people now know the hot ticket these things are, and how many people want them.  And when that happens, if it already hasn’t, we’re going to have motherfuckers buying up multiples to try and flip them for profit, because the world is fucked up, everyone sucks, and I fucking hate everything right now.

I only had one goal, and it was a colossal failure and not for lack of trying.  In spite of my limited opportunities to leave the house, I still tried, failed, because the Publixes and Krogers I tried probably had like five copies.  Sure, there might be maybe 10 copies at each tomorrow, but I’m in the same boat of not going to have any chance to go check, and I probably won’t get them, and I’ll have to settle for the bullshit Friday edition or the Sunday reprint, that I’ll still get with hate and grudge in my soul.

The whole point of this was to get the paper on the fucking day after the World Series ended, and thanks to the AJC being a bunch of fucking fuck faces, dreams of traditionalists and Braves fans like me are all met with the same bullshit fate.

Fuck you, AJC.  I hate you more than COVID-19 right now, and I kind of hope that the Braves never win the World Series again, so that you’ll never have another opportunity to fuck up the golden ticket again.  Better yet, I retract my hopes that the Braves never win again, I hope they do win again, but when they do, the AJC is out of business and replaced by some publication that doesn’t fucking amount to toilet paper for the homeless.

Well that happiness didn’t last

The one thing I wanted to commemorate the Braves’ World Series victory was a copy of the November 3rd Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which I’m assuming would have the Braves’ victory on the cover.  I don’t want any hokey commemorative hats or shirts or a Dugout Mug, just a single copy of the local newspaper.

I asked my nanny to stop somewhere and pick one up, in lieu of coming on time, which she graciously did for me. However, it was the early edition that clearly started press last night while the game was in progress because it literally was a photo of Jorge Soler and text indicating that the Braves hoped to win one more game.  She didn’t know and neither did I, and I didn’t think the AJC was sophisticated enough to even do early editions.  So by no fault of anyone, mission was still not accomplished yet. 

I went out in the afternoon to a Walgreens hoping to accomplish three things: get my paper, drop off a UPS package, and pick up a prescription.  I accomplished none of them, and that’s when the wheels began falling off my day. 

This particular Walgreens is the worst on the planet.  It thrives solely on its optimal location, but the service and quality of the place is straight trash.  Prescriptions are never ready when you go there and they almost deliberately troll you to make you jump through hoops in order to procure.  Honestly, I’m past my wits end and I need to demand my wife stop sending shit there because I’m not going to go there anymore. 

So, the prescription I went to go pick up wasn’t ready.  Be like, 15 minutes.  By the way, I’m on the clock since #2’s going to wake up soon and my nanny’s going to leave.  Next

Oh, this Walgreens doesn’t collaborate with UPS. Only FedEx. Next

Oh, this Walgreens also doesn’t sell newspapers.  Fucking really?

So I go to the nearby grocery store in this 15 minute window to get a paper, and hope they have a UPS box or can accept outgoing mail.  Nope to UPS and all copies of the AJC are sold out. Next 

So I go to another grocery store, and they’re out too.  For as much as people always try and tell me print is dead, the demand for it today sure as fucking hell says it’s not.  At least there’s a nearby UPS store where I can finally drop off this fucking package I’ve been unable to drop off for the last 24 hours because UPS drop boxes appear to have vanished like voter suppression. Next

It’s been past 15 minutes, so I swing by Walgreens and mercifully, they have my prescription.  I’m on my way out and I make the call to last ditch try the gas station, since my nanny picked up her paper from one this morning.  I go inside and I see some guy wearing full Braves gear, and the cashier tells him sold out.  I storm out.

Now it’s time to get back home and relieve the nanny and put my handcuffs back on to baby duty. I will have no more opportunities to try and procure a copy of this paper today.  I am livid, I am dejected, I am just so drained, disappointed and hating the entire world at this moment. 

Going back to another topic, one of my biggest beefs is when people try and tell me print is a dying medium.  It definitely doesn’t get any respect from the working world, and it’s clear retailers aren’t bother supplying it, because on any other given day, copies of the AJC probably are thrown out.

But on days like today, when monumental things happen, there doesn’t appear to be anything people want more than a fucking physical piece of print, because something physical and tangible is the best fucking way to commemorate, fucking anything.

Fuck everyone who thinks print is dead. Fuck all the assholes who buy up multiple copies hoping to turn a profit.  And as far as I’m concerned, fuck the world right now because I just wanted one simple thing, and I can’t find it and I don’t have the time to look for it, and I’m probably going to miss out on something that really shouldn’t be this difficult to get my hands on. 

Honestly, I never thought I’d see this in my life

So many thoughts and emotions going through my head right now.  Will try to sort them out and compose more coherent thoughts later, when I’m not so tired and on the verge of ugly-crying happy.

But how can you not love baseball, where a team that had no business being in the playoffs ends up winning the whole goddamn thing?

Doesn’t matter.  Can’t believe I’m actually typing up this as fact:

World Series Champions, Atlanta Braves.

🥲

Well I’ll be damned

It doesn’t look like anything to me: the Braves miraculously stave off Atlanta’ing, defeat the Dodgers to win the National League pennant for the first time since 1999

Granted, this is all just an elaborate setup to better last year’s colossal failure, by advancing to the World Series, where the Braves will inevitably humiliate themselves and likely get obliterated by the Astros’ murderers pitching rotation.  After all, if you take the Braves’ last two World Series appearances (1996, 1999), they’re 2-8 with all eight of those losses happening in a row, so as if history hasn’t been on their side at any step of their playoff run, it’s even worse when it comes to the World Series.

I actually had a complex about the Houston Astros, which dates back to 2004 and 2005, when the Braves lost to the Astros in two straight NLDSes, with the latter one ending on an epic collapse of a game, which turned into a miserable 18-inning affair where the Astros won on a walk-off home run from a shitty player hitting off of an even shittier pitcher.

From then on, I basically loathed the Astros, especially since they were still in the National League at the time, and I basically rooted for anyone they played against.  One of the best games I remember going to was at the tail-end of 2006, when the Braves had a shit season where their streak of division titles came to an end, but at least they salvaged the end of the season by spoiling the Astros’ late-season playoff push, most notably in a game where the vaunted Roger Clemens was outpitched by a literal Lowes window installer named Chuck James. 

The grudge held for quite a while until I stopped caring about sports and baseball as much, and then I accepted that flavors change and ebb and flow, to the point where I even started rooting for them in 2017, when I watched them pick up Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran, and I felt that these veterans were the key acquisitions that would push them into legitimate contention, and the season became a game of just wanting to be right, plus the Braves were in the midst of a dreadful rebuild and not even worth paying any attention to.  Regardless of the eventual cheating scandal that was unearthed, I was happy with their World Series win that year.

And now we’re at a point where the World Series is going to be the Houston Astros versus the Atlanta Braves.  Feels weird to even type “World Series” and “Atlanta Braves” in the same sentence after all the decades of failure I’ve witnessed at this point.  The Astros are the team most people outside of Houston love to hate, due to the cheating scandal, and the Braves and their paltry 88-wins are the team that really had no business even being in the playoffs, much less the World Series, but the playoffs are basically a different stratosphere, and nobody would have guessed that Eddie Rosario would be the guy playing the role of Reggie Jackson this year.

I don’t really know how to feel.  I want to be happy and excited that the Braves have made it to the World Series, but the oft-burned and jaded sports fan in me wants to pump the brakes and temper expectations, because it is still an Atlanta team ascending to the biggest games, and all of us here in Georgia have seen for eons what typically happens in those scenarios.  As much I want to see the Braves win a championship, I’m more anxious that we’ll see another 1996 or a 1999, or a 28-3, or a Tua Tagovailoa, or any other examples of a massive Atlanta blunder that results in a humiliating defeat that begs to ponder if it would’ve been better to just suck and not even put ourselves in that position.  I’m quite tired of Atlanta being the butt of sports city jokes, and another championship failure while so close to the crown, while not definitively unbearable, I just don’t want to think about it if it happens.

It figures that when I proclaimed that I wouldn’t write about the playoffs again, this actually happened.  So I’ll maintain that I’ll try to limit my baseball talk to this post seeing as how I still have a queue of topics that I want to catch up to, and hope for the best while not watching or following any of the games, because I, and I alone, have the power to kill the Braves, solely by tuning in.